On July 7th of 2001 about six years ago, I left my family and my friends behind in Korea, knowing that I will not be able to see them for at least three years. I decided to come to the states because I was ranked 32nd out of 40 kids in my class and I was sure that I would not get into a decent college or any college that my parents would like me to go. When I first came to the states, the only things I could say in English were hello, thank you and the F word. I began my 7th grade with kids with completely different cultures and backgrounds. As I expected, I had no friends at school because think about it, who would talk to a random Asian kid who could not speak a word of English. Those kids probably made fun of me but I didn’t care because I could not understand what they were saying anyways.
There are few times when I really wanted to just give up and go back to Korea where I actually had friends and family that loves me. However I never said a word to my parents about how hard it was because I did not want to disappoint them and get them worried. My mom would occasionally call me and tell me that she misses me and I would lie to her that I loved it here and would never want to go back to Korea. I did everything possible to learn English and by the time I got into high school, it became easier for me to make friends and actually understand what they were saying to me.
Last December, I got accepted to Cornell University. I was very lucky and I still thank God for it. When I saw that I got in, I was so happy and called my dad to tell him the good news. The first thing he said was what about Harvard?. I was very hurt but I could understand because if you know anything about Korean parents, they think that Harvard and Yale are the only colleges in United States. I still love my dad because he had never gone to a church in his life but when I told him that I was going through a hard time and needed prayers, he gladly started going to church.
I believe that without the support of my family I would have never got this far. I would have gone back to Korea and not know what to do next. Even though my family isn’t physically here with me it still means everything to me. I terribly miss each one of them and can’t wait to see them.
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